…the top of their speed they come to the charge, and in mid-career they are wont to commend themselves to their ladies; and what commonly comes of the encounter is that one falls over the haunches of his horse pierced through and through by his antagonist’s lance, and as for the other, it is only by holding on to the mane of his horse that he can help falling to the ground; but I know not how the dead man had time to commend himself to God in the course of such rapid work as this; it…
The conditions of the combat were that if Don Quixote proved the victor his antagonist was to marry the daughter of Dona Rodriguez; but if he should be vanquished his opponent was released from the promise that was claimed against him and from all obligations to give satisfaction.
To take an example: a man is standing unsuspectingly in the street and ten others come up armed and beat him; he draws his sword and quits himself like a man, but the number of his antagonists makes it impossible for him to effect his purpose and avenge himself; this man suffers an offence but not an insult.
The other replied that all his antagonist said was true, and that he did not choose to give him more than four reals because he very often gave him money; and that those who expected presents ought to be civil and take what is given them with a cheerful countenance, and not make any claim against winners unless they know them for certain to be sharpers and their winnings to be unfairly won; and that there could be no better proof that he himself was an honest man than his having…
…permission he gave them, and so did Don Quixote, who then, commending himself with all his heart to heaven and to his Dulcinea, as was his custom on the eve of any combat that awaited him, proceeded to take a little more distance, as he saw his antagonist was doing the same; then, without blast of trumpet or other warlike instrument to give them the signal to charge, both at the same instant wheeled their horses; and he of the White Moon, being the swifter, met Don Quixote after having…
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She is my forever antagonist.
Gillian Flynn -- Gone Girl
They could have done him no real harm, of course, but the shock and pain of having a number of his toes nipped simultaneously by an unknown antagonist must have been considerable.